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Old 12-23-2011, 07:25 AM   #1
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Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

Okay, so I'm kind of new to knitting. I have made a few things, and I love the pretty, hand-dyed yarns (of course!) more than anything. Wool and silk and blends are my favorite. But there is so much variation in prices! I'm making mainly wool baby items and scarves right now, so I'm interested in those weights. The last yarn I bought is beautiful and hand-dyed and I got it from the local yarn shop- it was 14.50 a skein for about 150 yards, I think? What is up with the skeins of yarn that cost 30$? Are the Mosaic Moon yarns more expensive because they're in demand for longies and such? Or is it really a better yarn? And how on earth do you know how may ounces you need when a pattern doesn't tell you?

I just don't know a lot about this stuff yet, so I'm just looking for some general shopping tips for yarn, i guess!

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Old 12-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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Bases do differ, but you could purchase any of Morwenna's bases for about $10-$14. However, you'd also have to go out and buy a few high quality dyes for $3-$5. Then of course, you are paying for talent and experience.

Truth be told, sure, part of what you are paying for is demand. But what creates demand? A talented dyer. They also have costs like shipping supplies and shops, paypal fees, etc. If you find a local dyer that you like, that's awesome. My thoughts are that you'll need to knit it up to know. At $14.50 per skein, it could work just fine. It's probably not as silky of wool or not tip top quality, but if it serves your purpose that's just fine!

You get to know what you like by trying it. Do a search in the forums about the various bases and you'll understand more about elasticity, likelihood of pilling, durability, feel, et cetera.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

I'm new too, and have been trying to figure all this out too. I have only been looking at wool so far, but it is soooo easy to get swept up in the beautiful yarn!

love to hear what others have to say
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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Re: Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

Have you ever compared the actual yardages/weights for the hyena cart yarn with the LYS yarn? You said you bought a $14.50 skein you bought at the LYS that was 150 yards (probably about 3 or 3.5 ounces if it was a worsted weight?). I buy the hyena cart/hand-dyed yarn for usually about $5-6/ounce. So a 4 ounce skein is between $20-$25 and I get about 200 yards in a skein. It usually ends up being about the same price (or better) than buying from a LYS because the skeins at the yarn store are often times a little lighter/less yardage. The stuff from the yarn store that have comparable weights (like Lorna's Laces or MadTosh) are also very similar in price.

For patterns that don't tell you a yardage or weight estimate, you can usually look at other projects on Ravelry (if the pattern is on there) to see if anyone else listed how much they used. Otherwise, you just have to do a guesstimate based off of similar projects.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

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Have you ever compared the actual yardages/weights for the hyena cart yarn with the LYS yarn? You said you bought a $14.50 skein you bought at the LYS that was 150 yards (probably about 3 or 3.5 ounces if it was a worsted weight?). I buy the hyena cart/hand-dyed yarn for usually about $5-6/ounce. So a 4 ounce skein is between $20-$25 and I get about 200 yards in a skein. It usually ends up being about the same price (or better) than buying from a LYS because the skeins at the yarn store are often times a little lighter/less yardage. The stuff from the yarn store that have comparable weights (like Lorna's Laces or MadTosh) are also very similar in price.

For patterns that don't tell you a yardage or weight estimate, you can usually look at other projects on Ravelry (if the pattern is on there) to see if anyone else listed how much they used. Otherwise, you just have to do a guesstimate based off of similar projects.
No I haven't compared them; it wasn't until I started checking HC that I realized that they sold by weight more so than yardage or skein. I can't find the wrapper to the yarn that I bought, and I don't remember the base, but I'm pretty sure it was worsted. I'd love to try my hand at dyeing some myself, but I have no idea where to start with that. I've dyed fabric in the past and I love figuring out colors. I will try to compare the prices- the problem is that I don't have enough experience yet with yarn to know just by looking at it online if it will be soft, or the right weight, etc. But I guess that will come with practice.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songbird516

No I haven't compared them; it wasn't until I started checking HC that I realized that they sold by weight more so than yardage or skein. I can't find the wrapper to the yarn that I bought, and I don't remember the base, but I'm pretty sure it was worsted. I'd love to try my hand at dyeing some myself, but I have no idea where to start with that. I've dyed fabric in the past and I love figuring out colors. I will try to compare the prices- the problem is that I don't have enough experience yet with yarn to know just by looking at it online if it will be soft, or the right weight, etc. But I guess that will come with practice.
Worsted is the weight of the yarn, not the base. The base would be like Cestari, Mosaiac Moon and the blend of yarn like 100% merino or superwash etc... My experience is that often the wool that is more expensive by the ounce is also a softer and less Pilly yarn. If you look at say Patons Classic it is an inexpensive, reasonably soft wool but it pills like mad. I have some nicer yarn that unpaid a reasonable amount for that is soft as satin and doesn't pill at all. Fancy yarns like handspun and licorice twist are generally a bit more expensive.

I could be way off since I'm a newbie knitter. I've only been knitting for a couple years and not regularly. But this is what it seems like to me.

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Can someone explain yarn prices to me?

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Worsted is the weight of the yarn, not the base. The base would be like Cestari, Mosaiac Moon etc... My experience is that often the wool that is more expensive by the ounce is also a softer and less Pilly yarn. If you look at say Patons Classic it is an inexpensive, reasonably soft wool but it pills like mad. I have some nicer yarn that unpaid a reasonable amount for that is soft as satin and doesn't pill at all. Fancy yarns like handspun and licorice twist are generally a bit more expensive.

I could be way off since I'm a newbie knitter. I've only been knitting for a couple years and not regularly. But this is what it seems like to me.

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I think you mean Mountain Medow (MMR or mmw) not Mosaic Moon
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:44 PM   #10
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What is mosaic moon then? Yarn confuses me.

Or are they the brand/dyer that uses a different company for their base? Like mosaic moon on a Cestari base?

Colour me confused. ROFL

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